NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: At what age to take your lambs to market  (Read 2824 times)

Tala Orchard

  • Joined Nov 2012
  • North Cornwall
    • Tala Orchard
At what age to take your lambs to market
« on: March 30, 2013, 03:51:04 pm »
Probably been asked before but at what age would one take ones lambs to market?

And at what age would you consider sending a lamb to slaughter for best meat return, we have heard that September was a good idea before they ewes come into season?

But hey what do I know?  NOTHING at all about UK sheep was bought up as a child with Merinos in Oz.
Pigs are human tooo
Voss Electric Fence

lachlanandmarcus

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: At what age to take your lambs to market
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2013, 05:08:50 pm »
Ideally I don't! (well haven't had to yet, maybe this year as might have 30 ish lambs)


Mine are Shetlands so they normally go to slaughter at over a year old, like most primitive types.  So spring or summer of year 2. The boys are castrated because of keeping them so long, otherwise it is a pain fencing damage wise and finding fields to separate everyone.


Commercials would either aim for the Easter / spring market with very early lambing or at the autumn market as you say. But would need a fast growing meaty element to the breed.

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: At what age to take your lambs to market
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2013, 07:56:15 pm »
We lamb Southdowns and Badger Face in late March.  We sell ram lambs we don't consider good enough to register as stores in July,  Any ram lambs destined for our freezer or lamb go in November.  We also send in a couple of hoggetts for the freezer in February. 

Remy

  • Joined Dec 2011
Re: At what age to take your lambs to market
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2013, 08:21:46 pm »
Depends on the lamb, I go more by condition than the age they are.  I usually lamb early April and the good lambs are ready about Sept/Oct, so around 6 months, but some might need growing on a bit more.
1 horse, 2 ponies, 4 dogs, 2 Kune Kunes, a variety of sheep

SteveHants

  • Joined Aug 2011
Re: At what age to take your lambs to market
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2013, 08:25:43 pm »
When they finish is the short answer.


They want a covering of fat - different breeds will finish at different weights. You are looking at 32-40KG for commercial types.

Crofterloon

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • Mintlaw
Re: At what age to take your lambs to market
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2013, 08:52:18 pm »
Steves answer sounds right to me.
The one thing In would add is that the Mart often have the auctioners working in the area who will drop in and advise you.
 

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: At what age to take your lambs to market
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2013, 08:59:04 pm »
Absolutely, the time to send them is when they are ready.  And if you have a few, the local mart's fieldsman or -woman will call in and advise you.

Some of our best Charollais X and Texel X lambs can be ready in 12 weeks if all goes well.  Most take 16-18 weeks, a few linger on to Christmas and beyond.

My little Manx x Shetland tup lamb born today will be spending two summers here - and having his fleece harvested before he leaves.  ;) :knit: :excited:
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: At what age to take your lambs to market
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2013, 11:48:56 am »
Weight to send to market and slaughter are completely different. Sending them to market they prefer lighter lambs, whereas if you are slaughtering for your own consumption most people like them heavier (but not fatter, there is a thin line). Ours were slaughtered at about 6 1/2 months last year and were heavy but not fatty, killed out at about 21-26kg, if they were going to market they would have been too heavy and wouldn't have made a good price compared to a 35kg live lamb.

 

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